To go one step farther than John Bowen, whose letter about FDR being the first television President appears in the August/September issue, I’d like to point out that the first U.S. President to appear on television was Herbert Hoover. However, to be fair about it, I must admit that his appearance was in April 1927, which was before he became President. Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, appeared in the first public demonstration of television in a hookup between Washington and New York, with AT & T President Walter Gifford “doing his thing” at the Big Apple end.
I recall having seen a picture, some years ago, showing Hoover at the Washington end of the circuit, and the event is described in Telephone: The First Hundred Years by John Brooks.
Now let us sit back and await someone’s report that Millard Fillmore’s television appearance antedated those of Hoover, FDR, and Truman!